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Michael Morse

Michael Morse C’13

Assistant Professor of Law

Michael Morse C’13 studies voting rights, election administration, and the criminal justice system. His work combines empirical methods and novel administrative data with traditional legal scholarship. He has a secondary appointment in the political science department.

Morse has written extensively about the politics of felony disenfranchisement and the impact of fines and fees, including in the Journal of Legal Studies and Quarterly Journal of Political Science. His most recent work on the topic, published in the California Law Review, focused on a Florida ballot initiative, known as Amendment 4, which sought to restore voting rights to people with felony convictions. Morse has also contributed to current debates about voter access and electoral integrity, evaluating voter identification laws, voter list maintenance, and the extent of double voting in the American Political Science Review, Science Advances, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Morse’s latest article, forthcoming in the Boston University Law Review, focuses on how states have quietly forged a novel bureaucracy to coordinate voter registration through the Electronic Registration Information Center. Beyond voting rights and election administration, Morse has also studied the election of local prosecutors across the country, publishing findings in the Iowa Law Review and UC Davis Law Review. He has written popular pieces about each aspect of his research for outlets such as Slate and Vox.

Morse is a proud Penn alumnus. After graduating from the College, he earned a JD from Yale Law and a PhD in political science from Harvard. Morse has served as a law clerk to the Honorable Myron Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama and the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to joining Penn Carey Law, he was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.